'''James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck''' (; 29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish people|Scottish
biographer and diarist, born in Edinburgh
. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson
, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom
has claimed is the greatest biography
written in the English language.
Boswell's surname has passed into the English language as a term (''Boswell'', ''Boswellian'', ''Boswellism'') for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print. In ''A Scandal in Bohemia
'', Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
's character Sherlock Holmes
affectionately says of Doctor Watson|Dr. Watson
, who narrates the tales, "I am lost without my Boswell."